More than 40 leaders from a host of organizations large and small and representing a wide range of religious traditions gathered for a thoughtful, candid and inspiring discussion about the challenges and opportunities faced by faith-based social innovators here in Los Angeles.
My most important take-away from the event is that social entrepreneurs — both secular and religious — have more in common than they may realize. When care and concern about the world is placed first and foremost, there is much to be learned and shared.
We organized the gathering in partnership with Shawn Landres and Josh Avedon of Jewish Jumpstart on the heels of a White House Faith-based Social Innovators Conference we all attended in Washington, D.C. earlier this summer. We found ourselves so inspired, we pledged to further the conversation with a regional follow-up here in Los Angeles as a way to ignite and accelerate local change.
Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the White House office of social innovation and civic participation, served as moderator, and L.A. County Board Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas opened the dialogue by encouraging all in attendance to practice "intentional civility" in inter-religious engagement, and, in fact, in all of our community engagement efforts.
Writer Rebecca McQuigg covered the proceedings brilliantly in GOOD. I invite you to read her article here. Stay tuned for future developments!